Sunday, September 13, 2015

The Egyptian Creator God - Ptah

Head of a statue of Ptah - Staatliche Sammlung fur Aegyptische Kunst, Munich
     In the Memphite theology, Ptah was the great creator god who brought the world into existence. He is often represented wearing a skull cap like headdress and a false beard (as in this example). When this statue was complete, the god probably was standing holding the Was scepter, a Djed pillar (representing stability) and an Ankh (the Egyptian symbol of life) in front of him. In paintings he is often shown having a green face (representing his association with re-birth).

     Ptah was worshiped throughout Egypt. There were chapels dedicated to him in Nubia, Abydos, Thebes, and Pi-Ramesses, but the single most important center of worship was at the capital city of Memphis.

     In Chapter 82 off the Book of the Dead, the deceased claims that his tongue is the tongue of Ptah (see: Ogden Goelet, et al. The Egyptian Book of the Dead (3rd edition), San Francisco: Chronicle Books, 2015, plate 27-A). This is because Ptah's words were thought to have strong magical ability to create things (in one story he created the world with his words).

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